Liverpool close to landing Luis Diaz in £60m transfer from Porto with forward to step in for AFCON-bound Salah and Mane

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LIVERPOOL are close to clinching an estimated £60million deal for Porto star Luis Diaz.

The Colombian winger has cemented himself as one of the hottest talents in Europe over the past 12 months.

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Luis Diaz could set Liverpool back up to £60millionCredit: Getty
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are both heading to Afcon

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Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are both heading to AfconCredit: Getty

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And the 24-year-old is seen as the perfect stand-in for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as they head off to the African Cup of Nations this month.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp saw Diaz shine in both Champions League group stage games against Porto in September and November – and is said to have been impressed.

Klopp would prefer to wait until the summer, but the absence of his top attackers – as well as several injury issues – sees him tempted to splash the cash this window.

Diaz has a reported £67m release clause, yet Liverpool are hoping to get him for slightly less.

He produced 11 goals and six assists in all competitions for the Portuguese giants last season before excelling at last summer’s Copa America.

He ended the competition with four goals – joint-top scorer alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

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So far this campaign, Diaz has scored 12 goals in the Primeira Liga.

Meanwhile Liverpool have also been linked with Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria.

But they will reportedly have to battle old rivals Manchester United to land the Switzerland international’s signature.

The defensive midfielder has also attracted the attention of Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich as Europe’s heavyweights eye his services.

Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

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